November 13, 2010; Columbus, OH, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Justin Brown (19) catches a pass for a touchdown against Ohio State Buckeyesat Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Penn State Depth Chart: WR

This is one of the positions that I am really looking forward to keeping an eye on. Justin Brown and Devon Smith both played as freshman and figured to be automatic starters in 2012. With the new staff in place, that is no longer guaranteed. There are some real athletes in this group and it will be fun to see who O’Brien and Hixon choose to fit their system.

The WR position is a little more difficult to slot in a depth chart because there are at least 3 different WR positions. Here is a generic look at how the depth chart may look when practice begins this summer.

*denotes an incoming freshman

WR x
Justin Brown (Sr.)
Shawney Kersey (Jr.)
Johnathan Warner (Fr.)*
Matt Zanalleto (RS Fr.)

WR y
Curtis Drake (Jr.)
Eugene Lewis (Fr.)*
Brandon Moseby-Felter (Jr.)
Allen Robinson (So.)
Christian Kuntz (Jr.)

Slot WR
Bill Belton (So.)
Devon Smith (Sr.)
Alex Kenney (RS So.)
Malik Golden (Fr.)*

Shane Phillips (RS Fr.)
Patrick Flanagan (RS So.)
Brian Friend (RS Jr.)
Andrew Goodman (RS Sr.)
Ryan Scherer (RS Sr.)
Tariq Tongue (RS Jr.)
Trevor Williams (Fr.)*

Justin Brown has been on the verge of something special since he signed 3 years ago but he has yet to take that leap. Under new WR coach Stan Hixon, Brown has a chance to emerge this season.

Curtis Drake has a ton of athleticism. He is fast, shifty, can throw the ball, play the wildcat position… the sky is the limit. But he has to get his mind right. He has had a couple of off-field incidents including a fight with QB Matt McGloin last December. If he can focus and realize his potential, I think Drake could be special.

Bill Belton burnt his redshirt early in the season, but didn’t see the field for significant snaps until the Ohio State game, when Tom Bradley unleashed him as a wildcat QB. There is speculation that Bill may be moved to RB, but for now, I will assume he stays put.

There is a chance that guys like Goodman and Scherer won’t be back for a 5th season. I believe they have both graduated and they may move on either through a mutual decision…or not.

Also, Kuntz may be an “x” receiver and Warner may be a “y” but this is not the site for that. Simple was my goal.

Yesterday, Quarterbacks.   Tomorrow, Running Backs!

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Tags: Bill Belton Bill O'Brien Curtis Drake Justin Brown PSU

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